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Southwestern University Chorale/Alumni Perform at Carnegie Hall

Students and faculty from the Sarofim School of Fine Arts’ Music Department performed at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall Nov. 21.

he concert featured 175 singers from six chorus groups accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble and conducted by Kenny Sheppard, professor of music.

The choral group sang Joseph Haydn’s “Mass in Time of War” and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Solemn Vespers.” Haydn wrote this mass in 1796 to be performed in Vienna just as Napoleon was marching on the city. The piece is subtitled “Kettledrum Mass” because of the use of timpani in unexpected places that lends a military air.

Sheppard was asked to conduct the New England Symphonic Ensemble in 2003 as part of the MidAmerica Carnegie Hall concert series with the chorus of singers to be determined at a later date. Given the option to select singers of his own choosing, Sheppard issued an invitation to ensembles he is currently conducting or had conducted in the past. Among the performers at the Carnegie Hall concert were members from the Southwestern University Chorale, San Gabriel Chorale, Chorus Austin, Temple CAC Chorale, the Marist University Choir of New York and Southwestern University Alumni.

Prior to the big event, the music department put on a free “Preview of Carnegie Hall” concert in the Alma Thomas Theater featuring a 200-voice chorus and a 25-piece orchestra. Featured Soloists were Claire Vangelisti, Amy Luttrell, Robbie Wright and Bruce Cain. Vangelisti and Cain serve on the voice faculty at Southwestern.